The new year is on its way and among many things, that means the first anime season of the year is also coming. You might have a few shows you’re interested in, but what if one of those is a sequel? What do you need to watch to get caught up? Well look no further because this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

The following article is a guide to help you catch up on returning shows before their newest season airs.

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Note: Global Anticipation does not imply “best show”, it is merely a visual aid that indicates the number of people who have already signed up to watch the show.

If you missed out on the Fall 2015 list, here it is.

Here we go.


Assassination Classroom 2
(Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 2)

Written by Krakken

Global Anticipation: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Genres: Action, Comedy, School, Shounen.

Assassination Classroom’s Tagline Premise: When a yellow tentacle monster destroyed the moon, permanently leaving it in crescent form, the world reeled in shock. Though when this monster, Korosensei, then proceeded to threaten to do the same to the Earth, he said he would postpone his destruction for one school year if they made him a teacher for the dead-end class at a prestigious Japanese middle school. Therefore, in order to save the world, class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School must kill their powerful teacher before they graduate. Can this class of dropouts, jocks, and misfits become the assassins and heroes this world needs? Or are they doomed to be the failures the rest of the world sees them as?

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Assassination Classroom is a fun action series that manages to be inspirational, funny, and thought provoking all at once. It has a wide ensemble cast of cool characters, with Korosensei being one of the most entertaining teacher/monster creations all at the same time. His yellow tentacles and exceedingly wide grin hide his exceptional nature to believe in all his students, and his goal to bring out the best in every one of them. This is a show where the students are faced both with defeating Korosensei and a school system designed to trod on them as lesser people. You will want to see these students exceed their bounds, conquer their school, and master the art of killing. Maybe, one day, they might finally kill the best damn teacher these students ever had... cause he’s just good at teaching them to do so.

You should try it out if you:
-Like comedy, action, and school shenanigans.
-Like inspirational shounen with relatable characters.
-Are a fan of all-ages safe tentacles.

Series Progression:
First entry: Assassination Classroom (22 episodes).
Second entry: Assassination Classroom 2 (Airing Winter 2016).

Notes:
-Watch all 22 episodes from the first season.
-There are also two OVA’s but they are supplemental.
-Time required to catch up: 8.5 hours.
-Available in NA on Funimation and Hulu.
-Ani-TAY Review:


Durarara!!x2 Ketsu

Written by Stanlick

Global Anticipation: ★★★★★★★★★★

Genres: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Psychological.

Durarara’s Tagline Premise: The world is a superficially normal place with superficially normal people, but as soon as you take the time to actually observe your surroundings, you’ll see that this is very much not the case. Everyone has a secret they can’t share, or a desire that that few would even imagine. Most of the time these private affairs remain hidden within ourselves, but in the case that we become confined they have the chance of slipping out. Now imagine a city that is full of people who’ve had their fair share of repression, been continuously scrutinised, and then eventually pushed to a point where they can’t withhold anything. This is exactly the case we see in Durarara. Every character has been through what they’d say is a tough life, and they certainly have the insanity to show for it. Durarara is the adaptation of what happens when you put dozens of people like this in one place.

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Durarara is closing in on the third installment of its second season. If that doesn’t make sense, the second season is broken into three twelve-episode segments and x2 Ketsu is the last part. Before going into the show it should be noted that with every new addition to it, the complexity increases. It’s an anime that’s not afraid to throw in a couple more characters every few episodes, and with so many plot lines and backstories, it becomes increasingly difficult to wrap your head around everything that’s happening. That doesn’t mean that the show is bad, in fact it’s still very highly regarded by most people, you just might want to take a few notes along the way.

You should try it out if you:
-Are a fan of complexity.
-Don’t mind an endless cast.
-Are a fan of Baccano!

Series Progression:
First entry: Durarara!! (24 episodes).
Special entry: Episode 12.5 (1 episode).
Special entry: Episode 25 (1 episode).
Second entry part 1: Durarara!!x2 Shou (12 episodes).
Second entry part 2: Durarara!!x2 Ten (12 episodes).
Second entry part 3: Durarara!!x2 Ketsu (Airing Winter 2016 ).

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Notes:
-Watch all 24 episodes of the first season (including both of the special episodes. Crunchyroll has them included chronologically with the show), all 12 episodes of both Durarara!!x2 Shou and Durarara!!x2 Ten.
-Time required to catch up: 20 hours.
-All released episodes are available in NA on Crunchyroll here, and on Hulu here (S1) and here (Durarara!!x2).
-Ani-TAY Review:


Fairy Tail Zero

Written by Stanlick

Global Anticipation: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen.

Fairy Tail’s Tagline Premise: In a far off land magic rules the world. People all over sign up for guilds in which they can take on missions and earn a living. Our story begins in one particular guild, Fairy Tail. The members are a little insane, but that doesn’t hinder them from being admirable, passionate, and a mob of great friends. When all is well, times are fun, and shindigs are imminent, but every so often a quest of chaotic demeanor grabs the attention of the guild. Only the strongest heroes may partake in these quests because failure may result in the end of the world. This anime follows the strongest guild members of Fairy Tail and their countless journeys that they embark on.

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Fairy Tail is a hot-blooded Shounen adventure that spans many arcs and many episodes. The anime is fairly high regarded likely due to its fast progression. Most arcs are not too long and each of them manage to leave quite heave changes to the characters or to the world. If you’re a fan of shows like Bleach, One Piece, or Naruto, then this is certainly a show that you’ll like. Even if you’re hesitant to start something that is 250 episodes in length, it should still be worth your consideration.

Fairy Tail Zero is a prequel to the entire series that depicts the initial formation of the guild. It will take the time slot of the currently airing series and be marked as episodes 91 - 103 (I assume these will be the episodes, but they might be a little off).

You should try it out if you:
-Are a fan of long running Shounen.
-Like your action shows to have a bit of comedy.
-Have a bunch of free time.

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Series Progression:
First entry: Fairy Tail (175 episodes).
Second entry: Fairy Tail 2014 (currently airing, ~90 episodes).
Prequel: Fairy Tail Zero (Airing Winter 2016).

Notes:
-This guide should be able to tell you what to watch.
-Time required to catch up: ~65 hours.
-The new season is a prequel to the entire series. It will be aired as part of Fairy Tail 2014 (most likely episodes 90 - 102).
-There are also a ton of other spin-offs, side stories, and what have you. Only the main content has been listed here.
-Available in NA on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.
-No Ani-TAY Review.


Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! Fire Dragon Arc

Written by Stanlick

Global Anticipation: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Military.

Gate’s Tagline Premise: One day, in a world much like our own, a gate to another land appeared out of nowhere. The gate happened to be located in the heart of Japan and upon its appearance, creatures and warriors from all type of fantasy came through sending Japan into a state of crisis. Luckily, these attacks were quickly countered because of the shear strength difference between a 21st century military and mythical creatures. After all was under control Japan then decided to see what lied beyond this mysterious portal. On this note they sent their army through and began to explore. What they found was a medieval land occupied by warriors, mages, dragons, girls with cat ears, elves, and many others. With so much space and resource, it was clear that not only Japan would want to cultivate this place, but so would many other nations, but how would this affect the locals? Gate is adaptation of what happens next.

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Gate is a well rounded adventure show that stems from an intriguing concept. The way that the writer has set up the story the possibilities of this world are practically endless. That’s not to say that they should write an endless amount of content, but if they kept going for a while, this anime could end up developing out quite well. It’s a mix of modern day political shenanigans, medieval/fantasy incapabilities, and military power. When they’re all put together, the result is genuine entertainment.

You should try it out if you:
-Are a fan of fantasy and adventure.
-Like to see stuff that isn’t normally together together.
-Like girls with cat ears.

Series Progression:
First entry: Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! (12 episodes).
Second entry: Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! Fire Dragon Arc (Airing Winter 2016).

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Notes:
-Watch all 12 episodes from the first season.
-Time required to catch up: 4.5 hours.
-Available in NA on Crunchyroll and Hulu.
-No Ani-TAY Review.


Macross Δ

**This ended up not happening until Spring 2016**

Written by Dexomega

Global Anticipation: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Genres: Space Opera, Military, Science Fiction, Romance.

Macross’s Tagline Premise: Variable fighters, love triangles, singing, and explosive battles: Otherwise known as the main ingredients for a Macross show. Macross is coming roaring back with a new cast, new mechanical designs for the series’ resident variable fighter aircraft the Valkyrie, and a new setting featuring dueling Valkyries. Macross has always been known for its unique take on the real robot genre, typically featuring not only space opera and love triangle aspects, but elaborate singing numbers throughout the show by the main female cast. Macross Delta is poised to continue this tradition after an extensive auditioning process for the main female lead.

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Macross is a show with advanced fighter jets, giant battles, and excellent music all in the same place. It’s a mix of a number of genres that results in a unique experience for viewers of any age. While this is the latest in a long line of Macross media, Delta is only a sequel to Macross 30: Voices across the Galaxy and Macross Frontier, which means viewing all the previous series is, luckily, unnecessary. If you want to see imaginative battles featuring well-designed fighter aircraft, some good music, and space opera, you’ve come to the right place.

You should try it out if you:
-Like excellent fighter aircraft and real robot mechanical designs.
-Like romance, battles, and music, usually all at the same time.
-Have seen previous iterations of Macross, because it’s more Macross.

Series Progression:
First entry: Super Dimension Fortress Macross (36 episodes).
Second entry: Macross Plus (4 episodes).
Third entry: Macross 7 (49 episodes).
Fourth entry: Macross Dynamite 7 (4 episodes).
Fifth entry: Macross Zero (5 episodes).
Sixth entry: Macross Frontier (25 episodes).
Seventh entry: Macross 30: Voices across the Galaxy (1 video game).
Eighth entry: Macross Δ (Airing Winter 2016).

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Notes:
-Watch all 25 episodes from Macross Frontier. Technically Frontier is a sequel to previous shows, but it can be considered a continuity reboot in many ways. Hence it is the only entry you’d need to watch to catch up to this new season.
-Time required to catch up: 10 hours.
-Not available in North America (Thanks Harmony Gold).
-No Ani-TAY Review.


Snow White with the Red Hair 2
(Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2)

Written by Proton

Global Anticipation: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo.

Shirayuki’s Tagline Premise: Snow White with the Red Hair centers around Shirayuki, a young herbalist whose bright red hair attracts quite a bit of attention. When Prince Raji requests that she become his concubine, she flees to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines, only to meet the second prince of Clarines, Zen. Zen is the polar opposite of the corrupt and selfish Raji, and helps Shirayuki get a foothold in her new life. Eventually, Shirayuki becomes a court herbalist to continue to pursue her passion while being close to Zen as their relationship develops.

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If You’re a Prospective Viewer: Snow White with the Red Hair was one of the most popular shoujo series of Summer 2015. The appeal of the series lies in the primary duo, Shirayuki and Zen, both for their chemistry and individual personalities. Shirayuki is hardly a maiden in distress and while she isn’t the shounen-style powerful individual warrior, she is more than self-sufficient and is just as helpful to Zen as he is to her. Zen, for his part, is far from the frustrating domineering male lead of many shoujo series and has great respect for Shirayuki’s individuality and work. The two of them start as great friends but over time become something more, and their mutual respect for each other makes for a series that is both interesting and heartwarming.

You should try it out if you:
-Like badass princesses.
-Like feel-good romances.
-Are a fan of Shoujo.

Series Progression:
First entry: Snow White with the Red Hair (12 episodes).
Second entry: Snow White with the Red Hair 2 (Airing Winter 2016).

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Notes:
-Watch all 12 episodes from the first season.
-Time required to catch up: 5 hours.
-Available in NA on Funimation and Hulu.
-No Ani-TAY Review.


Shorts:

Teekyuu 7

Genres: Comedy, School, Shounen, Sports.

Time required to catch up: 144 minutes.

Available in NA on Crunchyroll here.


Yami Shibai 3rd Season

Time required to catch up: 104 minutes.

Available in NA on Crunchyroll here.


This list was finished on Dec/07/2015. Any sequel announced after this date will not appear here. Any movie sequels have been excluded. Any spin-offs and reboots were also left out.

Organized by: Stanlick.

Special thanks to everyone that helped out. Your names are up there.

Thanks for reading!


If you liked this article, you’ll certainly like our collaboration where we decided on the must watch anime of the Fall 2015 season:


You’re reading Ani-TAY, the anime-focused portion of Kotaku’s community-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves. Ani-TAY is a non-professional blog whose writers love everything anime related. Click here to check us out.

You can contact me (Stanlick) by emailing me at stanlick_anitay@outlook.com.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stanlick_
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